Godspeed Aunt Patsy
My husband's Aunt Patsy passed away today, with her beloved children at her side. Or at least those who could be there because it was so sudden. Trina has been the strength, and was with her mom when she crossed over. I know there were others, and I honor them as well.
I met Aunt Patsy during a family reunion in Oklahoma. I felt gauche and slightly different than my husband's down to earth, loving family. As much as I hate to admit it, being raised in a city doesn't prepare you for those who've chosen to create a life for themselves in small towns. You're amazed at the closeness of the community, and the strong bonds they forge throughout generations. It's a very humbling experience to realize you're less worthy than they are, by the distance you place between yourself and your large community.
I enjoyed immediate family status amongst these wonderful people, which made me feel warm inside. My own family was a mess, with typical Italian vendetta lurking in dark corners, and I had distanced myself from that arena, because it just made me feel awkward and ugly. So when we were there for the family reunion, I was shy and perhaps a little standoffish. After all, what did I really have in common with virtual strangers? For that, I apologize. Every person in my new family made me feel welcome, like I had always been there.
Sharon and Patrick were beautiful singers, and their performances at the reunion were awe inspiring. Cathy was a warm woman with a superior wit. Uncle James knew my fear of tornadoes (and it was tornado season) so he cleaned his storm cellar of spiders just to ease my mind. There were children I bonded with, such as Tiffany, whose birthday is unfortunately the same day as both Patsy and Bob's [Patsy's husband] deaths.
But it's not only the extended family I want to commend for their generosity of spirit, but their dedication to each other. After all, those who have crossed over perhaps have the easier part. It's those they leave behind that suffer the most. Sometimes it's best to remember more advantageous times.
My favorite part of our trip to Oklahoma was a visit with Aunt Patsy. She was warm, kind, outspoken in a genteel manner, and had the most marvelous home you can ever imagine. Filled with decades of memories, knick knacks, items Bob tooled himself from handmade belt buckles and spurs, ok you can name it under the sun and Bob made it, and years of reminiscence. It was almost as if time had stopped years ago, while the people in that house remained vibrant and sparkling. Bob was a barbeque GENIUS who could have probably barbequed a skunk and you would have thought you were eating filet mignon, and Patsy was a spectacular woman in so many ways, it would be impossible to list her attributes in a short article. That isn't my intent.
Aunt Patsy taught my city- tainted son to fish for crawdads in her pond, using spoiled bacon. She baited his hook for him, took him out there and showed that city boy what life was really all about; appreciating life in its simplest form. For anything beyond that is excessive and is never needed. I took a lot of Aunt Patsy home with me, and used her no nonsense but still warm, loving personality in raising my kids. I knew if I was like Aunt Patsy, my kids would become as great as her own. I've not been disappointed yet.
In Aunt Patsy's home, I felt like I was in my own home, despite my shyness. But deep down inside. there was a love story that was just waiting to come out.
But let me tell you of it, this grand love story. One that should transcend the ages. I understand we aren't speaking of Clark Gable and Carole Lombard which we all consider a great love story, but this one is better, minus the Hollywood hoopla. Trust me.
Patsy met Bob when she was very young. I won't and can't report on the age difference between them, but from what I have been told it was love at first sight. I know there was some resistance to their relationship because of the age difference, but these two were in love and determined to be together. Bob was warm and loving, Patsy was feisty and full of life. They complimented each other. Their relationship lasted for more than half a century, and despite their non-celebrity status, should be shouted to the masses in honor of their dedication to each other. The children they produced are amongst the very best people I have ever had the honor of knowing and being related to by marriage.
When I learned that Uncle Bob had passed, I aksed my husband how long Aunt Patsy could be without him. My grandparents had the same inseperable relationship, and three months after my grandfather passed, my grandmother gave up. They lie together in a grave side by side. His gravestone says, " A Gentle Man" (Not a gentleman, which was a mistake that had to be corrected). Hers says "Together In Peace". Strangely, when a stone describes your loved ones properly, other people will see it. It may influence their current lifestyle. It can change the way they live. It should change the way we live.
I know Aunt Patsy, who was honorable and noble will be reunited with her beloved, and both of those wonderful people will be guiding their outstanding descendents and watching with pride as they fulfill their destiny.
Godspeed and God Bless Aunt Patsy.